Man is a social animal dwelling within the confines of a social set up and interacting with the other members of the very same social set-up in order to fulfill his needs be it basic or otherwise. Every activity carried out in society serves a certain need in exchange of a benefit in kind or monetary terms which is the universally accepted mode of exchange thus creating trade and marketing activities. With progress and advancement the comprehension of market and marketing has assumed new dimension and character. Marketing activities and several strategies related to it could be very well bifurcated into Commercial Marketing and Social Marketing.
Commercial Marketing has been in existence since time immemorial. The process was initially strictly understood as offering a product or service with intent to generate and maximize profit. Earlier, the commercial world lacked intense competition and hence the market being a sellers' market ended up being monopolistic and exploitative to a large extent in monetary terms and otherwise. The marketing strategies adopted earlier were minimalistic as intensive marketing strategies were not required mainly because a ready market existed for every product produced. But with the advent of consumerism and high competition, each and every commercial organization belonging either to a product or service industry requires to continuously strategies not only grow but even to just stay afloat failing which there would be inevitable closure leading to consequential financial losses.
Social Marketing, as a concept and practice has arisen in the last few decades when it was realized by economists and business analysts that the same principles of marketing used in commercial marketing could be adopted to market an idea and influence attitudes and behavior. It could be clearly comprehended as being different from other areas of marketing with respect to the aims and objectives of the entrepreneur and his or her business organization. The purpose of social marketing is to make an impact on social behavior pattern and not generate profits for the marketer but to be beneficial for the society at large. Social Marketing is an extremely beneficial tool in health programs and disaster management.
Social Marketing creates a balance in society where commercial marketing has become extremely competitive and at times it is complementary to each other. One can also infer that both these forms of marketing co-exist and rely on each for their existence and functioning.
This essay has been penned down with the objective to analyze the marketing strategies adopted by profit making commercial organization and non-profit making philanthropic organization and draw a line of demarcation in the methods adopted and purpose. On the basis of my research and analysis, I would like present the fact that the current business environment presents opposition and pressure in different forms and create hindrances and at the same time opportunities for growth and development.
The Hilton Hotel in the U.K. and the Cancer Research U.K. for commercial and social marketing would be my subject of analysis and evaluation.
The Hilton Hotel, U.K. has extensively adopted an eco-friendly approach towards their commercial marketing activities. The Hilton Hotel states that it has an ultimate plan of establishing itself as the leader in the hotel industry by adopted extensive environmental programs. The hotel takes pride in claiming that it has put in relentless efforts toward sustainability of the environment and is firmly committed towards this ideology.
Their policy lays emphasis on the following important issues:
In the year 2006, the Hilton Hotel commence the We Care Program under which all the hotels the world over were sent a "green box" containing information and training material regarding adopting an eco-friendly approach.
This We Car Program resulted in a boost in sales and the Hilton Hotel came to be recognized as a Hotel industry with extreme environmental concerns. This commercial marketing strategy of the Hotel which was on environmental conservation lines proved to be extremely successful.
The Marketing P's of Hilton Hotel:
Here the product is a service provided by this hotel industry. The service is a luxurious stay which state usage of eco-friendly products and services. After multiple catastrophes like the tsunami, Katrina etc. the world populace to a good extent has become aware of the need to be eco-friendly and utilize eco-friendly products and services. The Hilton Hotel, with the commencement of the We Care Program has established the fact that their services help in preserving the environment and by utilizing the services they provide, the patrons to become a part of this eco-friendly initiative. This is an extremely well thought of and devised commercial marketing strategy.
The pricing strategy adopted by Hilton is competitive and has had substantial increase in revenues due to their we care programs. The Hotel has reached a position where it can set prices even though there is severe competition in the hotel industry. This is primarily because they have been pioneers in commencing eco-friendly activities and services in this sector.
The place where the Hilton Hotel is situated in the U.K. is in the midst of greenery and strategically is apt to promote eco-friendly ideas.
To exemplify a promotional technique adopted by the Hilton in its commercial marketing strategy, they offered bikes as prizes in annual competitions held. These prizes were awarded to teams which showed visible reduction in water and power consumption. Several such competitions are held by the hotel for guests too to encourage them to save energy and resources. These acts as a motivating factor for people to use the services of the Hilton Hotel while on vacation as they feel that they too are a part of an important eco-friendly program and could win prizes for their initiative and participation.
The challenge posed for the Hilton Hotel, U.K. is that the competitors have also adopted the eco-friendly strategy in order to maximize their revenue and hence their segment which was initially untouched has now been flooded with competition.
The Hilton Hotel, U.K. is tremendously affected when global issues such as recession, terrorism etc strike. The hotel industry thrives on tourism. Tourism is affected with any incident related to acts of terrorism in any part of the world. Such acts result in security being high and extreme rules and regulations implemented regarding entering the U.K. which proves to be a deterrent in decisions made by people to go on holidays.
Similarly, when natural calamities like tsunami or earthquakes strikes in any part of the world, heavy fund raising activities commence globally which demoralize people from going on vacations and motivate them to donate the money instead. This results in loss of funds and subsequent decline of business.
The Cancer Research U.K. was incorporated in the year 2002 and is known as a leading organization in the field of cancer research. Cancer Research U.K. funds its activities of research entirely through donations received worldwide. More than 4,500 doctors, nurses and scientists are actively involved in the research activities of Cancer Research U.K.
The Cancer Research U.K. is the leader in developing novel anti-cancer treatments. This proven fact is the most important aspect of Cancer Research U.K. 's social marketing strategy.
Cancer Research U.K. has a continuous and substantial need of funds in order to continue it research and treatment activities. Marketing to a higher degree is required. The fact that Cancer Research U.K. is a internationally established social organization working towards solving the global issues of cancer makes it a bit easier to carry out marketing activities.
The Cancer Research U.K. offers to conduct world-class research activities to improve the comprehension of the disease and to detect measures to prevent, diagnose and offer treatment for different kinds of cancer. Its further states all its findings are implemented to bring about improvement in the lives of the patients. The services include assisting, counseling patients about the diseases and choices available to them. It aims in working in partnership with like minded individuals and corporations.
The Cancer Research U.K. is a charity organization which relies solely on funds for research and treatment. It organizes several fund raising campaigns and appeals to the world over for individual and group participation. The very fact that Cancer Research U.K. has succeeded in saving the lives of millions of cancer affected patients the world over acts as a social marketing strategy in raising the much required funds.
The fund raising activity of Cancer Research U.K. is not only confined to the U.K. but is a movement which has gained worldwide momentum. The electronic medium is used intensively and with the age of the internet the activity of fundraising and awareness has multiplied several million fold and hence place as an aspect of Cancer Research U.K.'s marketing strategy has diversified over the physical and non-physical arena.
Cancer Research U.K. states that one of every three individuals is prone to cancerous diseases at some point of time or the other in their lifetime. This fact acts as one of the promotional propaganda tools in accelerating the programs of awareness and fundraising activities. All the activities of Cancer Research U.K. are published periodically through journals and medical magazines which make the potential donors aware of the activities and progress of Cancer Research U.K. Besides this Cancer Research U.K. has received worldwide recognition for its activities towards cancer prevention and treatment. Since Cancer Research U.K. is a cause related organization, it received promotion in the form of publicity through the television, radio and print media. Since publicity is a non-paid form of advertisement it has more credibility and authenticity and help in the fundraising activities.
The challenges faced by Cancer Research U.K. is the fact that many devious institutions have incorporated themselves into cause related organizations with intent to monetarily exploit the general population utilizing human causes as their strategy for raising funds. When in a market, there are genuine and fraudulent organizations operation in parallel co-existence attempting to generate funds from the same source which is society, it become difficult for a layman to make a differentiation between the genuine one and the fraudulent one. The fear of being cheated makes a potential donor change his decision regarding donating money and negative effect of this tendency falls on righteous institutions like Cancer Research U.K. and people under its treatment.
Scandalous exposure of such in genuine institutions proves detrimental and discouraging to the donor. Another obstacle which causes a decline in social marketing activities of Cancer Research U.K. at times is global problems such as economic recession, war and natural calamities. When such situations arise the fund raising activities of Cancer Research U.K. are tremendously affected and consequently research activities and funding of treatment of registered patients at Cancer Research U.K. starts declining as the institution sole depends on charity. In such situations the donor re-divert the funds to support victims of natural or unnatural calamities leading to decline in donations of the Cancer Research U.K.